Wednesday, February 23, 2011


To history ~~ that old man eloquent.

"Perseverance, dear my lord, keeps honor bright.
To have none, is to hang quite out of fashion, like a rusty nail in monumental mockery."
(William Shakespeare)

My deepest appreciaton is given to God, who gave me this task, guides me, sustaines me, and makes possible all things in my life.

Next, credit for this series goes to my husband, Art. When I would have quit long before I finished the manuscripts, saying "I can't do any more!", he urged me on. Even as costs increased, he never criticized what I spent, although he got awfully silent at each postage increase. Through all these years, his love and faith and pride in me encouraged me most of all.

Also, to all those unnamed, special people who encouraged me as I worked I extend my heartfelt appreciation for sharing your expertise. And to those who shared memories and photographs and memories and photographs for the enjoyment of others, I owe a deep and abiding appreciation.
And you, my dear reader, are important. After you have read this history, you will become part of my clan. Thank you, each and every one.

History - that old man eloquent is how this series of Behind These Mountains came to be. First from 'that old man eloquent,' Frank Berray, followed soon after by Clifford Weare, Harry Tallmadge, Clate Bauer, Don Maynard, Stewart Hampton, Maurice McKay, Lanky Jamison, Carmen Moore, and so many others. Honored, too, are the 'eloquent women' ~~ Evelyn Berray, Helen Berray, Maxine Laughlin, Ida Brock, Rhoda Knutson, Marian Weare, Lucy Jenkins, Agnes Hampton, Sally Robertson, Hazel Ellinwood, to name but a few. I've included bibliographies to honor those historians whose memories added richness to these pages. Please take time to read them.

When I hear the old words of eloquent historians and other storytellers, I am transported into those times. I don't mind if they are perfectly documented. They take me along for a wonderful glimpse of the past. I hope I have accurately portrayed these glimpses, in very few cases undocumented, to lift your imagination too. Without humanity's remarkable storytellers, where could research even begin?

And yet, I, too, like to see the recorded history. I've delved deep into written files wherever I could find them, led to them often by 'old men eloquent'. Today, historians, businesses, government agencies, and a host of others, are taking note of these memories and give them credence. Those of you who hunger for the bona fide, credentialed, historic fact, will be pleased to know that the documentation I found corresponded in nine instances out of ten, closely, if not exactly, with the oral recollections within these pages. Ever mindful that the written word can also be full of inaccuracies, I have nevertheless also liberally credited newspaper accounts, county courthouse records and letters in the Bibliographies, as source material.

Likewise, history is never complete. As much as I've compiled, it's but a splintered glimpse of all that's happened within the canyons behind these mountains. It's my hope that another collector of 'History - those old men and women eloquent' will follow, and that some day more stories from Behind These Mountains will surface and beg to be preserved.

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